A bill in the state Legislature that would ban state-subsidized health plans from providing sexual enhancement treatments to sex offenders doesn’t go far enough, said Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) during today’s final hours of the 2005 legislative session.
"I wholeheartedly agree that taxpayers should not be picking up the tab for sex offenders to pop Viagra pills," said Tedisco, who supported the legislation. "But this bill doesn’t go far enough! All treatments to help erectile dysfunction, regardless of who pays, should be banned altogether for Level 3 sex offenders."
Tedisco is sponsoring separate legislation in the state Assembly. Assembly bill A.8624 prohibits Level 3 sex offenders listed on the state Sex Offender Registry from purchasing prescription drugs to enhance sexual performance. The bill also requires hospitals statewide to check the registry before performing penile implant or other sexual enhancement surgery, unless the procedure is required because of life-threatening medical reasons. If the patient’s name is on the registry, hospitals would not be allowed to perform the implant and must report the violator to authorities. Violations of the proposed law would also constitute violations of probation on the part of the sex offenders.
"We don’t knowingly permit drug addicts to possess drugs or violent criminals to carry guns, even if they pay for these items with their own money," said Tedisco. "Why should we allow sex offenders to enhance their ability to commit another sex crime just because they buy their own Viagra? Sex offenders have an addiction to sexual abuse. Why allow them access to a drug that can encourage their addiction?
"This is a no-brainer. Sexual predators are likely to strike again. Allowing them to enhance their sex drive is a serious public safety issue. Passage of today’s bill is a step in the right direction, but it only gets us halfway. In order to protect New Yorkers we need a total ban."